Davis defends UK right to hold trade talks

BREXIT Secretary David Davis has warned Brussels it would be 'unreasonable' to try and block Britain from negotiating trade deals before it leaves the European Union.

Brexit Secretary David Davis, the Haltemprice and Howden MP

The Haltemprice and Howden MP made clear International Trade Secretary Liam Fox will be seeking to put deals in place that can come into effect the moment Britian’s departure is confirmed.

EU members are not allowed to have their own deals with other countries but it remains a grey area over the extent to which Britain can hold talks before Brexit.

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Speaking at a Conservative Party conference fringe event, Mr Davis said: “There is a debate over about what the real legalities are. To be honest its not clear.

“We can certainly talk, we can certainly plan, we can certainly remove all the hurdles along the way. What we certainly can’t do is bring into effect a treaty straight away, we can’t do that until the day after or the minute after we leave.

“But truth be told there’s nothing to stop Liam (Fox) getting the sort of would-be treaties to the point they would come into effect incredibly quickly after departure,

“It would be unreasonable, I think, for the Europeans to try and stop that.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted the Government will not give a “running commentary” on the Brexit talks and in particular whether Britain will seek to remain in the European single market.

Mr Davis told the event organised by the ConservativeHome website: “I think if we do this right it will get even better, Britain will become an even more influential, more effective power.”

He added: “The basic metric is to have a very free, very unfettered trade relationship with Europe but an even bigger freer trade relationship with the rest of the world.

“That’s the aim so the economy is in better position than it is, not just for one year but strategically in a better position than it is now.”